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Wed, 01.04.1911

Slim Gaillard, Musician born

Slim Gaillard

*Slim Gaillard was born on this date in 1911. He was a Black singer, guitarist, pianist, vibist, tenor saxophonist, and composer.

He made a name for himself as one-half of the famous Slim & Slam, with bassist Slam Stewart. Gaillard, born in Detroit, emerged in a big way in the mid-1930s as part of a variety act, tap dancing and playing his guitar. From 1938-43, he did the Slim & Slam act with Stewart, heard on a WNEW radio show. Gaillard's routines centered around humor, alliteration, and much wordplay, as he entertained on such subjects as food, machinery, and nonsense.

By the mid-1940s, he was working in Los Angeles and was appearing in films such as "Hellzapoppin'!" and "Star Spangled Rhythm," both in 1942. He would later appear on TV, starring in "Roots--The Next Generation," among others. By 1982, he had made a successful revival tour in England. This made many appearances at jazz festivals, clubs, and concerts during the 1980s. Gaillard died in London on Feb. 26, 1991.

To Become a Musician or Singer



The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York
ISBN 0-8160-3289-0

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